Tak­ing a bite out of crime

New­est NCSO as­set comes with wet nose

The Covington News - - Local News - By Michelle Kim

One of the new­est ad­di­tions to the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice will be stay­ing at the de­ten­tion cen­ter, but not as an in­mate.

Chobe, a 3 and a 1/2-yearold fe­male Bel­gian Mali­nois, was re­cently pur­chased from the Tem­ple Po­lice De­part­ment in Caroll County us­ing funds do­nated by the Cony­ers Ken­nel Club. Though the NCSO has had other ca­nines, Chobe is the first ca­nine ded­i­cated mainly for the New­ton County De­ten­tion Cen­ter, though she’ll be avail­able de­part­ment-wide.

“I think she’s go­ing to make a big dif­fer­ence here,” said Deputy Ginger Sta­bile, who was se­lected out of eight ap­pli­cants to be Chobe’s han­dler. “Peo­ple put stuff in places I don’t want to men­tion.”

Drugs also some­times come into the vis­i­ta­tion area with vis­i­tors who try to dump them in the trash cans, she said. “Hope­fully, this will be a de­ter­rent.”

Cony­ers Ken­nel Club pres­i­dent Wat­son said the non-profit club, which has 60 mem­bers through­out New­ton County, Rock­dale County and Henry County, de­cided to do­nate the money last year when they heard New­ton County might lose a dog. The club usu­ally buys two or three bul­let­proof vests a year for work­ing law en­force­ment ca­nines at the cost of about $1,100 each, but de­cided to put that money to­wards the pur­chase of a new dog in­stead and wrote a $3,000 check last fall.

At $3,000, Chobe is con­sid­ered a bar­gain, es­pe­cially since she’s al­ready trained to find drugs such as mar­i­juana, co­caine, and metham­phetamines, said in­ves­ti­ga­tor Sgt. Sonny Good­son, who was cen­tral to ac­quir­ing Chobe. Train­ing alone can cost around $2,500 and take about two years, and a fully trained dog can cost up­wards of $10,000, ac­cord­ing to Wat­son.

Even­tu­ally, Chobe will also be trained to track peo­ple, said Sta­bile. For now, both ca­nine and han­dler are go­ing through a bit more train­ing, mostly to let Sta­bile learn how to read Chobe.

Good girl:

“Her nose is 1,000 times bet­ter than mine. I have to learn what she’s try­ing to tell me,” she said.

Chobe uses a pas­sive alert by lay­ing down when she finds some­thing, which is some­what un­usual among sniff­ing dogs, in­stead of a more ac­tive sig­nal like scratch­ing or bark­ing, said Sta­bile.

“I be­lieve she’s go­ing to be one of our bet­ter ones,” said Good­son, a ca­nine han­dler him­self. “I can tell by her tem­per­a­ment. She seems to like what she does.”

He de­scribed the per­son­al­ity of a Bel­gian Mali­nois, a type of herd­ing dog, as typ­i­cally be­ing high en­ergy and di­rect. For in­stance, he said, if you tell them to get some­thing on the other side of the ta­ble, they might leap over the ta­ble in­stead of walk­ing around it.

Chobe’s en­ergy was on dis- play at a re­cent March 10 din­ner and fa­cil­ity tour to thank the Cony­ers Ken­nel Club for their do­na­tion. Her small, tanand-black head swiveled back and forth as the 15 at­tend­ing club mem­bers cooed and clucked over her.

But de­spite the dis­trac­tions, Chobe was able to fo­cus and find a small packet of mar­i­juana hid­den in the room in less than a minute dur­ing the drug find­ing demon­stra­tion.

Lt. Bill Wat­ter­son also pre­sented the club with a plaque of ap­pre­ci­a­tion and se­nior staff mem­bers let the club know how much their ef­forts would help the de­part­ment and com­mu­nity.

The NCSO is build­ing a ken­nel for Chobe be­hind the de­ten­tion cen­ter, but for now, she’s stay­ing with Sta­bile, al­low­ing the dog and han­dler to bond.

Michelle Kim/The Cov­ing­ton News

Deputy Ginger Sta­bile is part­nered with the new­est mem­ber of the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice staff, a 3 and a 1/2-year-old Bel­gian Mali­nois named Chobe, who’ll be work­ing pri­mar­ily in the de­ten­tion cen­ter. Dur­ing a demon­stra­tion of her abil­i­ties, Chobe finds a hid­den pack of mar­i­juana at a din­ner to thank the Cony­ers Ken­nel Club for do­nat­ing the funds to the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice to pur­chase Chobe.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.